We just wrapped up another wonderful Disney World vacation and want to thank the folks at Disney for going the extra mile with accommodating park guests with food allergies.
The list of peanut free Disney restaurants below will help you plan a peanut safe dining experience when visiting Disney World in Orlando. Our son Bo, who has a severe peanut allergy, has safely dined at these peanut safe restaurants in Disney World (except for those listed in orange with an asterisk where the wait time was too long).
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (fast food, plus some good entrees too)
Tony's Town Square (Feb. '08)
Liberty Tree Tavern (Feb. '08)
Tutto Italia Ristorante (superb!)
Toy Story Pizza Planet (park quality pizza)
Backlot Express(Feb. '08)
ABC Commissary (Feb. '08)
Rainforest Cafe (all menu items peanut allergy safe except some desserts)
Greetings from Disney World in Orlando, FL! Today was day two at Disney after driving over from Louisiana over the weekend. We love coming to Disney, because at age 7, Bo still enjoys the rides and attractions while Mom and Dad get to relax because Disney offers so many peanut safe dining options. This is our second trip to Disney since Bo's peanut allergy diagnosis and we can't say enough wonderful things about how well Disney takes care of special dietary requests for park guests with peanut and other food allergies.
Yesterday we ate dinner at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe at Disney's Magic Kingdom. We ended up at this cafe because we got hungry before our reservation time at The Plaze Restaurant. The menu at Cosmic Ray's consists of burgers, salads, chicken, sandwiches (including peanut butter). Normally the peanut butter sandwiches would have made us turn and walk out but a wonderful staff member (Lynn?) came to our rescue and reassured us that the peanut butter sandwiches were pre-packaged and individually sealed, not made on-site. Furthermore, she personally took our order and coordinated with the kitchen staff to have Bo's chicken nuggets brought straight from the fryer to the counter, ensuring no risk of cross contamination. Though the cafe features quick service type food, everyone's food was good.
Today at Epcot, we had a fantastic italian lunch at Tutto Italia Ristorante. When we arrived, we informed Claudio the Manager, that we had reservations and of Bo's peanut allergy. He immediately reassured us Bo's food allergy would not be a problem and sat us at a nice outdoor table. Our waiters, Enrico and Matteo, took good care of us, including swapping out the table breads for a more limited selection but that only included peanut safe choices.
Bo's spaghetti, mom's pasta alfredo and dad's lasagna were absolutely delicious. It was so exciting to sit down as a family to a nice restaurant meal that we could all eat with a fork, without being paranoid about peanuts or cross contamination! Along the way, the staff even taught Bo some conversational Italian!
Towards the end of lunch, Claudio reminded us that the only peanut safe dessert on the menu was the fresh fruit. But we had a different dessert surprise in store for Bo. We had noticed in the special diet information packet Brenda Bennett at Disney had mailed to us prior to our arrival, that the Nestle premium ice cream Mickey Bars are made on a seperate line making them completely nut free and safe. Ice cream is such a rare treat for Bo, to seem him eat ice cream at a public park like all the other kids was amazing and a little emotional at the same time.
So far Bo's favorite rides/attractions have been Space Mountain, Test Track, Thunder Mountain, and Soarin!
Thanks Disney, for allowing our peanut allergic boy to have a "normal" magical day!
More Peanut Desensitization Results Plus Another Duke Study We recently received e-mails updates from another family whose young son is in the same peanut allergy desensitization study at Arkansas Children's Hospital as Bo. His mom said that he had an anaphylatic reaction about 2 years ago to a peanut and a half.
Well, he recently completed year one of the peanut allergy desensitization treatment study and passed his food challenge with just some rash and a hive. After the food challenge, his treatment was unblinded where it was revealed he had been getting real peanut the first year. Now, a few weeks later, this boy is eating 26 peanut M&Ms every day as his daily treatment dosage!
Bo's daily peanut dosage for his peanut allergy treatment study is now equivalent to a kernal of a peanut.
Halloween Fun Despite a Food Allergy Some of our readers have asked how we deal with Halloween considering Bo's life threatening peanut allergy. Some parents of food allergic children no longer let them Trick-or-Treat door-to-door. We certainly understand that thinking because it really is scary with that much uncontrolled exposure to food and candy for a food allergic child during Halloween.
So this year, we took advantage of the fact Halloween was on a Friday and sponsored a block party at our house. We rented a space walk for kids age 5 and up, a neighbor set-up their smaller inflatable for the little kids and we had a hay ride as well. Everyone from the block brought a dish or drinks over to our house and the kids went door-to-door trick-or-treating in groups. We had over 100 people at the house all night, it was a blast!
To accomodate Bo's peanut allergy, we took the following steps for a safe Halloween:
We fed Bo dinner before the party started
A few neighbors made peanut free treats that were specially marked and put out in a seperate food area
Bo went trick-or-treating with the other kids but allowed the candy to be put in his bag (any type candy was OK). Then, we he got home we traded his bag of collected candy for a bag his mom had made with an assortment of safe candy including Skittles, Starburst, Blow Pops, Air Heads, etc. Bo's friends thought it was cool to have his haul of candy divided up among them! Be sure to check out Bo's updated peanut free safe food list.